Weekend Coffee Share: School And Stuff

If we were having coffee, I wouldn’t bitch and moan about the heat today. We’re getting some respite from the heat this weekend, with highs in the upper 70s. It’s accompanied by clouds and rain, so it’s rather dreary, but I’ll take dreary over 90s any day. Our area has had almost 60 days of weather in the 90s (real feel in low 100s typically, thanks to humidity), and that is more than this time last year, which ended up 74 miserable days. So, this break is welcomed with open arms, even if it’s rainy.

That’s not us this weekend, yay!

If you were actually at my house for coffee right now, you’d probably give me a pat on the back for having a reasonably tidy house. I missed the kids while they were off at school this week, but my house is not a disaster zone, and for that I am grateful. Silver linings, amirite? I’ve got a load of clothes going and need to wipe down the table from this morning, but otherwise, it’s all good. I wouldn’t even turn someone away from my doorstep if they came up unexpectedly, and that’s saying something for me. (They’d have to wait while I put on a bra, but that’s it.)

You’d probably ask how the kids’ first week of school ended, so I’d tell you that LM’s ended on a very positive note. He had zero complaints for the week, enjoys all of the teachers he has met, and has made a couple of nerdy friends. The boy also made a 97 on his English quiz and a 95 on a math quiz. As long as he stays on top of his assignments and turns things in this year, he should do just fine. (He had a few Cs and Ds on his progress reports for not turning in stuff last year, so I’m hoping that won’t be an issue!)

Baby Girl, on the other hand, is still trying to adjust as I mentioned in another post. She doesn’t have any specific complaints, and she seems to like her teacher, but she has cried in the mornings and at night a lot and says she doesn’t want to go. Part of it is she’s just not sleeping long enough, despite lying down early. She also wakes up in the night, so she’s understandably very tired. Hopefully when she gets those tonsils out next month, I think she’ll sleep better. Even if she doesn’t fall asleep earlier, she’ll get a better night’s rest at least.

The principal greats her every morning and lets her cuddle his dog, so that usually perks her up before she goes inside. I should probably make a point of asking if she gets upset or has a meltdown if they’ll take her down to cuddle the dog for a bit. We will have a meeting to go over a 504 Plan soon, so I’ll bring it up then. Hopefully the coming week will be easier for her! I know it would take time for any kid to get adjusted, and even more so for one who is having sleep issues and is on the spectrum. It just breaks my heart to see her so upset.

We have no real plans for the weekend. My husband originally wanted to go to the zoo since the weather was supposed to be cooler, but it’s a) rainy and b) the kids are tired and want to hang around the house. We can always do the zoo in the fall. My friend messaged me about going to dinner tonight, so I may do that, but that’s it if anything. I may also have a drink or two or three tonight. Lazy weekends are the best, especially when they come on the heels of an exhausting week!

How was your week?

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Eclectic Alli

School Days, School Days

School days, school days
Dear old Golden Rule days
‘Reading and ‘riting and ‘rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hick’ry stick

I have fond memories of my grandmother singing that in the mornings to wake me up for school. She fixed my “breakfast” of a Carnation Instant Breakfast drink since I wouldn’t eat real breakfast and got me ready. Good times and something I sorely missed after my dad remarried and we moved out of her house. My kids didn’t care for me singing that to them very much, which may have something to do with my inability to carry a tune.

So, Little Man is only on his third day of middle school today, but he said yesterday that it was still awesome. He likes the lockers, the extra bit of freedom, and having different kids in most classes. He also really likes the teachers he has had so far and even likes riding the bus. He made a friend (whose name he can’t remember, of course lol) who is into superhero stuff. He said even though the kid thinks Spider-Man could beat Superman in a fight, he’s pretty cool otherwise.

LM said his heavy backpack caused his desk to flip over in class when he got up, and was shocked when no one laughed and another kid helped him get it back up. I hope this polite behavior continues. Middle schoolers can be pretty harsh to each other, but it’s starting out on a very good note.

Baby Girl, on the other hand…yikes. She said her first day was “fine,” but didn’t give me much in the way of details, aside from playing with the other little strange girl at recess. (And I won’t refer to her as the little strange girl again, just specifying since I did in my last post.) Last night when we got her ready for bed, she was rage crying over having to go to school again. I hoped she’d feel better after a good night’s sleep, but more rage crying again this morning. She perked up a little when we got to the school and the principal let her cuddle his dog, so that’s good.

I know it’ll take a little time for her to get used to the longer days and less fun atmosphere (compared to preschool), but hopefully she’ll come around. She’ll only have a half day once per week since she has to go to her therapies (which she enjoys), so maybe that’ll help. I hope we won’t come to regret starting 5K instead of opting for another year of preschool.

The transportation is a headache. Even though LM rides the bus, we have a 20 minutes drive to the bus stop, and he has to be there an hour before BG’s school begins. I’m not feeding her breakfast at home and letting her sleep a little later and taking her to get grits while we wait for her school. And in the afternoons, we’ll have to wait about half an hour for his bus to get to the stop. Leaving at 6:40 and getting home at 4:20 every day. Less than three hours of free time before taking showers and getting ready for bed, and that doesn’t count homework and supper. Yeesh. At least they aren’t doing any sports or plays.

It was nice to have a quiet house for a few hours yesterday (and take a nap!), but today I’m missing them. I’ve gotta stop dragging ass and get on my to-do list. Eventually.

If your kids have gone back to school already, how’s it going for them?

Hello, Middle School

Today was the first day of middle school for Little Man. It took all I had to keep from crying at drop-off. I made a comment to LM about being on the verge of tears, and he said that if I cried then he’d cry, too, so I held them back for the moment. The boy was in first grade when I started this blog (and his sister was just a few months old), but here he is starting sixth grade.

LM only had a half day today, but he said he liked it. He said his homeroom teacher is awesome and funny, and he’ll have her for language arts and an elective class. He said the math teacher told them she was really strict and would probably make them cry. Yikes. His favorite teacher in elementary school also told them that — and compared herself to Darth Vader — so hopefully the math teacher ends up being cool. (He needs strict, though.) The other teacher he saw is someone he knows from the community playhouse that thinks a lot of him, so that’s good, too. We’ll see about the other ones on Monday.

Yesterday, I asked LM which classes he was looking forward to this year. “None of them. I don’t like learning the stuff the school wants to teach me. I want to learn what I want to learn.”

Lordy.

So I asked which classes specifically he didn’t look forward to. He loves language arts, math, social studies, and science. He loves theater and technology. After thinking about it a little more, he admitted that he did look forward to all of those classes. He also said he kind of looked forward to homework again because it was nice to have a routine. I don’t think he was being sarcastic.

I was worried that the class transitions, lockers, etc. would be overwhelming for him, but he said he already has his locker number and schedule memorized. He’s unsure about when he can use the bathroom outside of class. He insists that there are no restroom breaks and that kids are supposed to go during class, which doesn’t make much sense. Can you imagine having 30 kids and half of them needing you to sign a hall pass to leave during a 45-minute class? I would’ve lost my mind and wouldn’t accomplish a lot while teaching!

Baby Girl had open house last night. We practically had to drag her in since she decided she wasn’t going to kindergarten anymore. That was a sight to see. After she settled down, she met some other kids and seemed to get along well with another girl who was every bit as strange as she is. They had dinosaurs attack the Barbie dollhouse set up in the play area, which got the stink eye from some other girls. Weird kids unite 😉 The siblings of a couple of kids who bullied LM are also in her class, but hopefully she has a better experience with them than LM did with their older brothers.

The girl will have her tonsils removed next month. She has sleep apnea and very large tonsils, so hopefully this will help her get better quality sleep at night. (And maybe even stop the 1AM wake ups, where she also wakes me up and keeps me practically hanging off the bed every night since she has us in the “H” position.)

This mom doesn’t know how good she’s got it:

BG is understandably very anxious about this. We have a month to get her feeling okay over it. I’ve already told her about the rolling bed, wheelchair, fun mask that helps her sleep for the procedure, getting to miss school and eat ice cream for a week. She said all of that sounded good except for getting her tonsils cut out. I wish she didn’t need to have it done. Her apnea is mild enough that it’s not absolutely necessary, but they said she likely wasn’t getting good sleep at all most nights. The doctor also said it can cause ADHD symptoms. I know it’s a relatively safe surgery, but all surgeries have risks. I also hate to make her go through years and years of not being well rested, so hopefully all will be well.

Aside from some cleaning around the house, we have a lazy weekend ahead of us. No plans to go anywhere, plus a list of superhero movies to watch.

The Boy Is Back

Little Man has not had the best summer. He has often been moody and defiant. He hasn’t wanted to read or do any of the summer school work I’ve prepared for him (the last part is understandable, though). And he regularly antagonizes his sister, which leads to the screaming and name calling. I chalked a lot of it up to puberty coming on.

Since school is starting up in a week, I decided to put him back on his ADHD meds. (We don’t typically have him take them on weekends or school breaks.) Plus I made him start going to bed earlier, so he can get back on a sleep schedule that will be appropriate for when school starts.

And now my angel boy has been back for the past two days. He has been ridiculously sweet, hasn’t had an attitude about doing his chores — he even asked what he could do to help — and he finished a Harry Potter book and started another, without being asked to read. Plus he is making LEGO creations like crazy and isn’t asking to watch TV or play video games all the time.

Praise the lord.

It’s interesting. I know his ADHD meds help with focus (although he was always a big reader in the past, meds or no meds), but I never noticed not taking them affecting his mood/behavior in the past, but that is the only big change, so it has to be it. (He isn’t sleeping any longer than normal, so it’s not going to bed earlier I wouldn’t think.)

I am so grateful. Now, I know for a fact that he’s definitely in the throes of puberty (which I found out for a fact earlier this week in a way that has scarred LM and I both), so I know those mood flair ups will still happen at times. But seeing such a turnaround in his attitude and his love for reading coming back makes me so damn happy. There won’t be anymore skipping ADHD meds during weekends or breaks now.

In other news, BG had her kindergarten readiness assessment earlier this week. Her teacher said she is definitely ready for 5K and was impressed with her reading and other stuff. While she did well on that, BG said she isn’t ready, though, and wants to go back to preschool.

I think school anxiety is contributing to her meltdowns. She doesn’t want to be away from me, she doesn’t want to give up Pizza Hut Wednesdays (probably obvious, but our routine was Pizza Hut on Wednesday), plus she’s worried about making friends. BG said she doesn’t think people will like her because she’s different. And then she said if anyone asks her to be her friend, that she’ll say no because she doesn’t want to make new friends.

Plus her teacher doesn’t have superhero stuff and has “that yucky Barbie doll and princess crap.”

I think she’ll feel differently after she goes for a couple of weeks. She has her share of challenges ahead of her, but she’ll like getting back into a more scheduled day. I think she’ll also enjoy some of the enrichment classes she’ll take, like a STEAM-based class. Fingers crossed.